ABQ businessman tapped to head city department - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ businessman tapped to head city department

Charles Ashley III, a well-known member of Albuquerque’s startup community, has been named director of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

A prominent member of New Mexico’s startup community is the new director of economic development for the city of Albuquerque following the former leader’s departure in September.

Charles Ashley III, founder of Cultivating Coders, which provides technical training to K-12 schools and adult learners in under-resourced areas, was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller Tuesday. Ashley will start his role at the beginning of February.

As the new director of the Economic Development Department, Ashley is tasked with bringing new businesses to the city while supporting existing companies.

“I believe in this community,” Ashley told the Journal. “I’ve been here 15 years and it’s a place I’ve invested in not just monetarily. … Having been offered such a prestigious position from Mayor Keller is extremely humbling and I’m honored.”

Ashley said his experience at the helm of a startup company has allowed him to see how businesses operate on every level – from the executive down to janitorial duties.

“I think that experience is going to allow me to go into this new role with the ability to be agile and flexible, but also hungry and aggressive,” Ashley said. “That’s the nature of most business owners. … Your ambition, your hunger, your drive, those things are usually what … puts you in that entrepreneur or business owner box. So, I’m excited to see how that translates into the government space.”

Ashley’s time at Cultivating Coders, he said, also allowed him to invest in young people and marginalized communities, something he hopes to continue as the new director through workforce development programs.

“My passion has always been going above and beyond when in regards to overlooked communities, right, so that passion won’t change,” he said.

Aside from his work as a business owner, Ashley has worked as the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department’s film liaison and marketing specialist, and has served on multiple board of directors, including: the U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union Board and Learning Alliance, Dream BIG, New Mexico AIDS Services, Albuquerque Youth Basketball League Board, Albuquerque Sol Advisory Council, Mayor Richard Berry’s Deep Dive Council for Arts & Culture, and Mayor Tim Keller’s Education Transition Team.

As the new director, Ashley said he wants to first understand the department and the mayor’s goals in order to build relationships.

“The real overarching goal right now would be researching, relationships, and then creating a plan off of that,” he said.

Ashley’s appointment comes four months after the former director, Synthia Jaramillo, left the position for a role at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Jaramillo led the department for four years.

“Albuquerque is entering a promising time for sustainable, diverse economic growth, and we look forward to having Charles lead our department through it,” Keller wrote in a statement. “His work as a business owner, advocate, and partner to the City over the years has created opportunities for folks from all walks of life, and we’re fortunate to have him continuing that mission with us.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » ABQ businessman tapped to head city department


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Resale shop goes from hobby to main gig for ...
ABQnews Seeker
Meet Jasmine Baillio, owner of What ... Meet Jasmine Baillio, owner of What Goes Around
2
APD investigating homicide in South Valley
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police are investigating a homicide ... Albuquerque police are investigating a homicide Friday afternoon in the south Valley. Rebecca Atkins, an Albuquerque police spokeswoman, said the incident happened in the ...
3
Roosevelt County woman, 82, fatally hit by neighbor's pickup
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico State Police say an ... New Mexico State Police say an elderly woman in Roosevelt County has died after she was hit by a vehicle driven by an elderly ...
4
BCSO searching bosque for suspect in stabbing, fire south ...
ABQnews Seeker
Deputies are asking the public's help ... Deputies are asking the public's help in finding a man who allegedly stabbed a person before lighting a fire Friday morning in the bosque ...
5
Portales woman fatally struck by elderly driver while getting ...
ABQnews Seeker
Authorities said an 88-year-old struck his ... Authorities said an 88-year-old struck his neighbor with his flatbed trailer, killing her, as she got her mail Thursday afternoon near Portales. New Mexico ...
6
Man's body found floating in Abiquiu Lake, deputies say
ABQnews Seeker
Authorities say a fisherman found a ... Authorities say a fisherman found a man's body on the west side of Abiquiu Lake on Thursday morning. Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Maj. Lorenzo ...
7
Fast work helps save cat with a leaky gut
ABQnews Seeker
Despite severe contamination, doc's fast work ... Despite severe contamination, doc's fast work helped support her immune system
8
Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and ...
ABQnews Seeker
Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for ... Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones, iPads and Macs that could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices. Apple released ...
9
APS' continuing issues with HVAC cause health concerns
ABQnews Seeker
District says it has 385 open ... District says it has 385 open work orders related to air-conditioning